Book Review: Going Bovine

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Going Bovine Going Bovine by
Published by in 2009
Genres: , ,
Pages: 480

Saving the world. That's impossible. Insane. Still. A cure. I could be cured. That's what she said. And some little atoms come awake inside me, swirling into a question I can't shake: "Why the hell not?" I could have a chance. And a chance is better than nothing.


It’s been nearly a week since I finished this one. Honestly, I still don’t quite know what to say. It was amazing, and I hated it at the same time. But I hated it for all the right reasons, all the reasons an author wants you to hate a book.

I picked Going Bovine up on a whim. I’d seen it around on blogger and I really didn’t care all that much (though I didn’t know at the time that it was written by Libba Bray, whom I adore). Then I saw it on the shelf in the library, and for lack of anything else to read, decided to pick it up. The teaser was just enough to catch my interest, but boy was I not expecting what I got. I still can’t decide if it was real or not. Or if that even matters.

Cameron starts out as one of those characters you love to hate. He’s an offensive, sullen teenager that reminds us all of that kid in high school that seemed to have a vendetta against everybody. Of course, in high school, we all just wondered what their problem was and moved on. But Cameron has a real problem. Prions are attacking his brain, making him lose control of his muscles and hallucinate. (For those of you who don’t have a degree in medical science, that’s Mad Cow Disease – makes your brain go all spongified).

After several episodes that make you feel almost sorry for Cameron, he is admitted to the hospital where he meets Dulcie. I’m pretty sure Dulcie is one of my favorite side characters ever. She is so enigmatic and yet normal. When she’s there, she’s supposed to be there, and when she’s gone you don’t notice. (Now that I read that back, it sounds like she’s forgettable. That’s not it. It’s just like, she fits where she’s supposed to. And the sort of there/not-there-ness of her character really fits who she is.)

When I think of how to describe this book as a whole, it reminds me of those Rubeus puzzles you had to do in Elementary school (You know, where they made math equations out of words and pictures and you had to figure out what well-known phrase they meant?). Going Bovine = American Gods – adult themes + Percy Jackson + a tiny bit of Looking for Alaska + Libba Bray’s own original touch. It is gorgeous and I would recommend it to anyone!

Upcoming Reviews:
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
The Shadow Dragons by James Owen

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